Naleshwar Mahadev Mandir in Alkapuri, Nalsopara East
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|PIN||401 203 to 401 209|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Nalasopara|
Nala Sopara (also known as "Nallasopara" or "Sopara") is a town within the Mumbai Conurbation. The town lies in Palghar district of Maharashtra state in India. The population of the city is 184,664 during the 2001 census. Its railway station is on the Western Railway Zone, approximately 60 km from Mumbai. It is governed by the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC). Nala Sopara is accepted by scholars as the Suparaka or Supparak of ancient India and was a busy trade centre and an important seal of Buddhism. It was also one of the administrative units under the Satavahanas and is mentioned in the inscriptions of Karle, Nashik, Naneghat and Kanheri.
The stupa site of Sopara locally known as Baruda Rajacha Killa was excavated by Bhagwanlal Indraji in 1882 and yielded a fragment of the VIII Rock Edict of Asoka along with a large stone coffer, jewellery, a copper casket and seven Buddha images and a Maitreya image. The site was re-excavated by M.M.Qureshi of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1939-40, when several stone lintels and two small stupas were found on the south side of the main stupa in addition to a few sherds of plain glazed ware of the Muslim period. Anwar Munshi (1972) found a number of Satavahana lead coins at Sopara.
The ancient habitation site lies 2 km away from the stupa which overlooks the dry creek on the south and on the east opens to Thane creek. A large quantity of Islamic Glazed Ware, Black and Red Ware were found at the site. It seems that during the Early Historical period Sopara was located on the mainland facing Agashi island on the north and Bassein to the south. The backwaters between the mainland and the island were suitable for the movement and anchorage of ships. Gas and Nirmal villages were once part of the creek. A number of tanks and architectural remains arc noticed in the areas adjoining these villages. All the ancient relics were found in the area between the stupa and the creek. Up to the 19th century this creek was navigable and ships of 20 tonnes used to ply here. The significance of the architectural pieces becomes more important when the surface findings arc taken into account. The area around Bhatela pond is a landing place or bunder, where even remains of a Portuguese jetty and customs house are seen. Exploration (1994) in the adjoining area has yielded Red Polished Ware and Glazed Ware. The evidence is further corroborated by a joint excavation in 1993 carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India and the British Academy, Hyderabad where antiquities of the Early Historical period (Satavahana and Kashatrapa period) — lead and copper coins, semi-precious stone beads, small fragments of Northern Black Polished Ware, amphorae pieces and Islamic Blue Glazed ware were discovered. An earthen wall and a fourteen coarse stone wall with varying sizes of stone blocks were also encountered during this excavation.
It is clearly evident from the archaeological and literary sources that Sopara was the main entrepot dating from the pre-Asokan period up to the 3rd century A.D. and again from 9th to 13th century A.D. There is no evidence of cultural remains from 4th to 9th century and it seems that during this period Sopara had lost its importance. The main cause for the decline of the ancient port of Sopara was due to the effect of siltation caused by a rise in sea level. Further near-shore and off-shore marine archaeological exploration and excavation would be helpful to ascertain the extent of the ancient port city.
As of 2001[update] India census, Nala Sopara had a population of 184,664 and it is one of the well-known suburbs in Mumbai. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Nala Sopara has an average literacy rate of 79%, higher than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy is 77%, and female literacy is 82%. In Nala Sopara, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. This area has witnessed very steep rise of population due to the cheapest property rates in the Mumbai suburban railway area, steep rise of property rates in Mumbai and being well-connected to Mumbai city by local train services. The area has witnessed steady property growth. As per the new records it will be one of the best places in the western suburbs.
Sopara Village, or 'Gaon' (the name for Nala Sopara before urbanization) consisted of the Nawayat Mohalla, Shakar Mohalla, Waza Mohalla, Bhandarali, Loharali, Chawdi Naka, Samelpada, and Bazar Peth also known as Burhan Chowk (named after the famous local freedom fighter Mr. Burhan Harris). Post-urbanisation, Nala Sopara, like all western suburbs of Mumbai, was divided into West and East. The western part of Nala Sopara is a better developed area compared to its eastern counterpart with respect to planning and connectivity.
The prominent areas of both are listed below.
Nallasopara West:- Patankar Park, Panchal Nagar, Sri Prastha Complex, Laxmiben Chheda Nagar, Darul Mamur Complex, Shurparak Nagar, Chanakya Nagar, Samel Pada, Sopara Gaon, Nilemore, Nallasopara-Virar Link Road Area, Chakradhar Nagar, IDBI Colony, Ami Park.
Nallasopara East:- Vaikunt Nagar Phase-II, Radha Nagar, Tanki Road, Achole Road, Tulinj Road, Central Park, Vijay Nagar, Achole Gaon, Vasai-Nallasopara Link Road Area (RASHMI DHRUVITA PARK), Kargil Nagar
Nallasopara East Station Road To Highway (NH8):- Tulinj Road, Toll Naka, Santosh Bhuvan (Postal Address as Hawai Paada), (Sitaram Nagar) Gorai Pada, Pandey Nagar, Bilal Pada, Shri Ram Nagar, Dhaniv Baag, Dhaniv Baag Talao, Wakan Pada, Vasai-Nallasopara Highway Area
- Sopara English High School, Sopara
- St. Francis De Sales High School
- St. Willibrord International School
- Rahul International School
- K.M.P.D. High School
- St Mary's English High School
- Saint Aloysius High School
- Kanchan High School & Junior College
- Little Flowers English High School
- Sacred Heart High School
- Infant Jesus High School
- St. Joseph & Mary Convent School
- Divine Providence High School
- St. Anthony High School
- Holy Angels School
- GD Ideal High School
- Divine Life School
- Z B Zakaria English High School
- Vidya Bhushan Marathi Vidyalaya
- Vidya Bhushan Hindi Vidyalaya
- Holy Mary English School
- Lokmanya High School & Junior College
- St. Lukes English High School & Junior College
- Thakur Vidya Mandir High School
- Pancham High School & Junior College Of Arts & Science
- Vedant Public High School
- Gurukul English High School
- Mount Mary's High School
- Evergreen High School
- Sudarshan English High School
- Purushottam School
- Little Star Play Group Nursery
- The Krayons Pre Primary School
- Agape Pre School
- Iris School & Junior College
- "Onshore and Nearshore Explorations along the Maharashtra Coast: with a View to Locating Ancient Ports and Submerged Sites". citeseerx.ist.psu.edu. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.